NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR MONDAY, MARCH 11TH

GREYHOUND BUS CATCHES FIRE WEST OF CRAIG

Emergency personnel responded to a bus fire Friday afternoon, that closed part of Highway 40 for a couple of hours.  The Colorado State patrol says the bus driver pulled over about 5 miles west of Craig, to fix a flat tire.  While the tire was being fixed, the Greyhound bus caught fire.  It’s not clear what the cause of the fire was.  There were 17 passengers aboard, but none were hurt.  The bus sustained enough damage to where it could not be driven away.  The passengers were all transported to the Greyhound bus station in Craig, where they were able to make alternate travel arrangements.  The highway was closed for about 2 hours, while authorities put out the fire and cleaned up the mess.

 

ROUTT COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTY CHARGED WITH DUI

An off-duty Routt County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of DUI after he crashed his vehicle in Milner.  Undersheriff Ray Birch says Jesse Lee McAvoy was traveling on U.S. Highway 40 when his personal vehicle slid on a patch of ice and crashed into a snow bank a little before 4:30 yesterday morning. The deputy wasn’t injured, and his vehicle wasn’t damaged.  The Colorado State Patrol arrested McAvoy on suspicion of DUI, careless driving and possessing a weapon while under the influence of alcohol.  Birch says McAvoy’s blood-alcohol content of 0.093 percent, was just over the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent.  The deputy, who has been with the sheriff’s office for about three years, was put on paid leave.

PARKS AND WILDLIFE OFFER YOUTH HUNT NEAR MEEKER

With generous support from local private landowners, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Hunter Outreach Program is offering three youth the opportunity to participate in a guided, high-quality spring turkey hunt on private land near Meeker, April 26th through the 28th.  Youth under the age of 18 interested in participating can apply by sending a letter of interest that includes contact information for a parent or guardian, the hunter’s name, address, phone number, Hunter Education card number and an essay of 500 words or less.  The essay should focus on why they believe hunting is important for wildlife.  No previous hunting experience is required and all youth hunters are encouraged to apply; however, regardless of reason, youth interested in hunting but have never participated will be given preference over those that have already had previous hunting opportunities.  For more information, click here.

PARROTHEADS SELL FLOWER POTS FOR FUNDRAISER

The Northwest Colorado Chapter of Parrotheads is selling flower pot arrangements to help beautify Craig.  The project is also a fundraiser for the group, with funds raised going toward charitable projects within the community.  The 24 inch flower pots are full of large, blooming flowers that can be delivered to your home or business in late May or early June.  In September, the group will come back around to collect the pots and return them to the nursery.  The pots are being sold for $95 a piece, and must be ordered by March 15th.  If you have questions, call 824-7364.

 

2 BILLS FROM GUN CONTROL PACKAGE FAIL

Colorado’s most sweeping gun control package in memory advanced after a marathon 12-hour debate Friday – but it didn’t survive intact.  The gun packages advances only after Democrats withdrew two of the most controversial pieces of the package, a gun ban on college campuses and a measure to hold gun owners liable for damages caused by their weapons.  The surviving pieces included a limit on ammunition magazines and a gun ban for people accused of domestic violence.  Five of seven gun-control measures advanced. One more round of votes is required next week before the measures clear the Senate.

BACKGROUND CHECK BILL ADVANCES IN SENATE

Colorado Senate Democrats advanced an expansion of background checks on firearm purchases as part of a package of bills responding to the shootings in Aurora and Connecticut.  The proposal would require background checks where they currently don’t exist, such as purchases online and private sales and transfers. The bill got initial approval in the Senate on an unrecorded vote on yesterday.  Republicans opposed the bill, saying the bill is unenforceable and won’t reduce violence. They say it will restrict people’s Second Amendment rights.  Democrats say the bill is needed to close a crucial loophole under current law that makes it easier for criminals to obtain weapons.  A final vote is needed before the bill goes to Governor John Hickenlooper, who has indicated support.

LAWMAKERS APPROVE TUITION BREAKS FOR THOSE HERE ILLEGALLY

A proposal allowing illegal immigrant students to pay lower college tuition rates has passed the Colorado House and is headed to Governor John Hickenlooper, who is expected to sign it.  Three Republicans joined with all the Democrats in voting for the bill yesterday. The bill would allow students who graduate from Colorado high schools to attend college at the in-state rate, regardless of their immigration status.  Currently, students in the country illegally must pay the nonresident tuition rate, which can be more than three times higher than the in-state rate. Similar bills have been debated in Colorado for a decade.  Both parties have voted to defeat the proposals in the past. Republicans argued that a federal immigration overhaul needs to happen first.

In high school sports:
In the 3-A state basketball tournament:
The Moffat County boys beat Classical Academy 66-61, then lost to Brush 68-58.

The Moffat County girls beat Jefferson Academy, then fell to Kent Denver 58-50.

At 2-A Regionals:
The Meeker girls beat Dolores 60-24, then lost to Simla 55-51.

The Hayden boys defeated Sangre De Cristo 53-41, then lost to Yuma 50-33.

The Rangely girls topped Wray 47-43, then fell to Lutheran 73-43.

The Meeker boys fell to Haxtun 55-34.